Sternal Variation: Anatomical-Forensic Analysis

  • Viviane Moura Leite autor
  • Caroline Freitas de Souza Plácido
  • Carolina Lucena Veloso Gusmão
  • Evelyne Pessoa Soriano
  • Adriana Conrado Almeida
  • Antonio Azoubel Antunes
  • Gabriela Granja Porto Petraki



The aim of this study was to analyze the extent and uniqueness of anatomical variations of the sternum bone, to assess its applicability for forensic analysis, especially for individual human identification.

Methods and Findings

Evaluations involved 501 computer tomography scans performed at the Medical Radiology Center, Manaus city, Amazonas, Brazil, and 427 skeletons belonging to the Collection of Identified Human Skeletons of the Center for Studies in Forensic Anthropology (CEAF), of the University of Pernambuco (UPE), Pernambuco, Brazil.  Forms of morphological variations were evaluated, including the presence of foramina, fissures, and incomplete total or partial fusions, as well as forms of xiphoid process termination, and the presence of surgical sutures. Overall, summing computed tomographic images and skeletons, the sternal foramen was present in some 23% of samples, with a greater proportion in males (14%), while in females the frequency was 8.6%.


The qualitative analysis of the sternum bone is simple to apply and represents an important potential source of information in a human identification process.

Author Biography

Viviane Moura Leite, autor

Dentist, graduation UFAM
Master in Forensic Skills - FOP.UPE
Specialist in Dental Imaging and Radiology - FOP.Unicamp
Specialist in Forensic Dentistry - FOP.Unicamp
Dental Expert of the State of Amazonas - PCAM / IML
Dentist of the SEMSA / PMM


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How to Cite
LEITE, Viviane Moura et al. Sternal Variation: Anatomical-Forensic Analysis. International Archives of Medicine, [S.l.], v. 13, may 2020. ISSN 1755-7682. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 jan. 2021. doi:
Human Anatomy